Amid strong protests over the Agriculture Bills in the national capital and farmers hitting the streets in Haryana and Punjab, Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi has said that the legislations will ultimately benefit farmers.
The Bills are important in context of the forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar. As many as 89 per cent of the state's population resides in rural areas and 76 per cent of them are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
"As per the Bill, it has provisions for farmers to sell their crops anywhere and there is no compulsion of selling to a particular place like the Bazaar Samiti," Modi said.
The Bazaar Samiti concept was discontinued in Bihar in 2006. Before this, the Samiti was the recognised body where farmers were bound to sell their produce.
Sushil Modi said corruption was rampant in the Bazaar Samitis and farmers were forced to sell their produce there. "Now, we have an option under the farm bills where farmers can sell their produce at the Bazaar Samiti as well as outside," added the deputy CM.
"The manner in which the RJD, the Congress and other opposition parties opposed the bill by attacking Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh was shameful," Modi said.
The other part of the bill relates to contractual farming in which there is a provision in which farmers could sign a contract with industrialists for the production of particular crops.
Elaborating upon contract farming, Modi said companies that manufacture potato chips could now sign a contract with farmers for a particular size of potato. "Such a move will help farmers to sell crops above the minimum support price," added Modi.